Even if you know nothing about basketball, you will have likely heard of the late Kobe Bryant – a man who inspired both people on and off the court. The whole world mourned his tragic passing back in January, made even worse because his daughter, Gianna (who was on her way to following in her father’s footsteps), also passed in that tragic helicopter crash.
He inspired so many people, and the lessons he left the world can apply to everyone. Kobe can inspire your sales performance with five important lessons that every sales professional should take stock of.
1. Reached Beyond His Usual Audience
Perhaps one of the things Kobe is most known for is how he worked to popularize basketball in China. While he could have focused solely on his American audience, he instead took the time to participate in many sponsorship tours as well as the Beijing Olympics back in 2008.
The lesson here is to seek out new business opportunities instead of focusing on the obvious market in front of you. Small investments made into new markets can pay off big time down the road.
2. The “Mamba Mentality”
Kobe created the Mamba mentality, which is simply the philosophy of striving to get better every day. He used this philosophy to inspire others to let go of their fear and constantly seek improvement. This philosophy isn’t about the act of achieving something, but rather about the constant journey of self-improvement.
As a salesperson, you should always be striving to learn and grow, so that you get better every day.
3. Believed in Honesty
Whether it earned him love or hate, Kobe always strived for honesty and transparency in everything he did. He stuck to his beliefs and didn’t let anyone deter him, even if they were unpopular.
Transparency, honesty, and open communication are important for salespeople who want to build strong relationships with potential buyers. Prospects need to be able to trust you first before they’re willing to buy from you.
4. Lead by Example
Kobe was someone who consistently practiced what he preached, and he lived to create a model that would inspire others to do the same. He was accountable for everything he did, good or bad, and always presented opportunities for learning.
As a salesperson, you must hold yourself accountable and live up to your own expectations.
5. Life Beyond Basketball
Kobe did more than play basketball – he also was a family man and someone who did charity work. He even won an academy award for a short animation he did called “Dear Basketball,” showing that he wasn’t afraid to step beyond his comfort zone.
People who form an identity solely based on their job end up being one-dimensional. If you have a rich and fulfilling life, not only will you be happier and more enthusiastic at work, but you’ll also widen your experience and discover more opportunities for growth.
Be Your Own Hero
Everyone has the power to make a positive difference in the world, even if it’s on a small scale. Adapt your own “Mamba mentality,” and you will find yourself growing into the sales professional you’ve always wanted to be.